Best Artist-Grade Technical Pens & Fineliners for Drawing

Updated: 19 Sep 2019

Review for recommended brands of Technical pens

Intro

What is a technical pen?

Review for recommended brands of technical pens:

  1. Staedtler Pigment Liner
  2. Copic multiliner SP
  3. Faber-Castell Ecco Pigment
  4. Sakura Pigma Micron
  5. Uni PIN Fine Line
  6. Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen
  7. Edding 1800 Profipen
  8. Pilot Drawing Pen
  9. Zig Mangaka
  10. Zig Millennium
  11. Deleter Neopiko Line 3
  12. Tombow MONO Drawing Pen
  13. Marvy Le Pen Drawing
  14. OHTO Graphic Liner
  15. Rotring Tikky Graphic

Disclosure: some links in this article are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you choose to make a purchase.

Note: this guide is aimed for artists. All pens in this article are owned and tested by me, and all drawings were made by me.

1. Staedtler Pigment Liner

Pigment Liner technical pen by Staedtler is a quality, disposable pen with indelible, lightfast and waterproof pigment ink.

Nib sizes: 12

According to Staedtler, these technical pens can be left uncapped for at least 12 hours without drying.

Staedtler Pigment Liner technical pen Staedtler Pigment Liner

Pros:

Cons:

Pen & ink drawing of a sailboat Sailboat drawing with Staedtler Pigment Liner

Conclusion:

With 12 nib sizes and high quality ink, the Staedtler Pigment Liner is a good example for an excellent artist-grade drawing pen.

See on Amazon

2. Copic Multiliner SP

The Copic Multiliner SP technical pen is designed for a lifetime of use.

Nib sizes: 9

Filler & nibs for Copic Multiliner SP can be replaced when necessary.

Besides black, these pens come in 12 colors.

Copic Multiliner SP technical pen Copic Multiliner SP

In addition to the SP model, a non-SP disposable Multiliner pen exists, and it is cheaper.

See on Amazon

Copic Multiliner technical pen Copic Multiliner

Pros:

Cons:

Audi car pen drawing with Copic Multiliner Car drawing with Copic Multiliner SP

Conclusion:

Compared to other technical pens on this review, Copic is significantly expensive.

Its nibs will wear off with time but they are replaceable.

That said, it delivers with high quality, beautiful design and it is long-lasting.

See on Amazon

3. Faber-Castell Ecco Pigment

The Faber-Castell Ecco Pigment technical pen is second to none in that price range. High-grade, consistent and comfortable.

Nib sizes: 8

These drawing pens are lightfast, meaning their ink is resistant to fading when exposed to light.

Faber-Castell Ecco Pigment technical pen Faber-Castell Ecco Pigment

In addition to black ink, Ecco Pigment pens are available in 3 colors: red, green and blue.

Faber-Castell Ecco Pigment technical pen Faber-Castell Ecco Pigment
Winnie the pooh coloring page Winnie the Pooh drawing

Pros:

Cons:

Tree house pen drawing Tree house drawing with Ecco Pigment

Conclusion:

The Faber-Castell Ecco Pigment is flawless with superior ergonomic structure.

Highly recommended for any type of art, from top quality drawings to doodling, manga, sketching, and creating coloring pages.

See on Amazon

4. Pigma Micron by Sakura

The Pigma Micron disposable technical pen is a favorite with illustrators and for a good reason.

Nib sizes: 8

These technical pens have a durable ink made of pigments. They are manufactured by Sakura.

In addition to black, these technical pens come in 14 colors for the nib size 0.45mm. Fewer colors for other nib sizes.

Pigma Micron technical pen by Sakura Pigma Micron

Pros:

Cons:

Pen drawing of a house with Pigma Micron House drawing with Pigma Micron

Conclusion:

Not that attractive design, but good price and quality ink make the Pigma Micron a favorite for many artists and graphic designers for drawing manga, comics and sketching. Recommended!

See on Amazon

Author's comment:

If you are on a budget, one technical pen with nib size 0.1 should do the job.

Depending on the brand, size 0.1 can produce fine details and still produce noticeable marks.

Additional (second) recommended size would be 0.5 since it creates bold outlines that are great for drawing coloring pages or cartoon characters.

That said, many brands offer small sets of 3 to 5 nib-sizes at an affordable price.

5. Uni PIN Fine Line

The Uni PIN Fine Line is known for its consistent lines and strong black ink.

Nib sizes: 10

Fade proof and water resistant Ink.

In addition to black, sizes 0.1 and 0.5 come in 5 colors.

Uni PIN Fine Line technical pen Uni PIN Fine Line

Pros:

Cons:

Pen drawing of a sprarrow bird with UNI PIN Sparrow bird drawing with Uni PIN fine line

Conclusion:

Uni PIN Fine Line is another good example for a drawing pen. The nib size is well-written for ease of use.

These fineliners produce well-defined lines, which are great for technical drawing, signature, mandala and drawing in perspective using a ruler. Less suitable for some styles of sketching.

See on Amazon

6. PITT Artist Pen

The Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen is great for graphic designers, illustrators, cartoonists and for coloring.

Nib sizes: 4

These drawing pens produce thick, vivid lines with pigmented, lightfast ink.

Faber-Castell Pitt Artist technical pen PITT Artist Pen

Pros:

Cons:

Pen drawing Leaning Tower of Pisa Tower of Pisa with PITT

Conclusion:

Like other Faber-Castell products, these fineliners offer quality. They offer limited size range though. They are great for drawing cartoons, comics, manga and drawing mandala.

See on Amazon

7. Edding 1800 Profipen

The Edding 1800 Profipen disposable technical pen is another example for a good drawing and sketching pen.

Nib sizes: 4

Lightfast, waterproof pigment ink.

These technical pens come in 4 colors: black, red, blue and green.

Edding 1800 profipen technical pen Edding 1800 Profipen

Pros:

Cons:

Crocodile drawing with edding 1800 pen Crocodile drawing with edding 1800

Conclusion:

The Edding 1800 is a good pen when it comes to ink quality but they are limited in nib sizes and the cap is too hard to open or close.

See on Amazon

8. Pilot Drawing Pen

Pilot Drawing Pen fineliners are water-based, simple, entry-level drawing pens.

Nib sizes: 5

Water-resistant & light-resistant pigment ink.

3 colors to choose from: black, red and blue.

Pilot Drawing Pen technical pen Pilot Drawing Pen

Pros:

Cons:

Pen and ink Dalmatian dog drawing Dalmatian dog with Pilot Drawing Pen

Conclusion:

These pens are quite smooth and therefore great for doodling, mandala and writing. Less ideal for fine art drawing or sketching.

9. Zig Mangaka

Zig Mangaka are artist-grade, water-based, drawing pens designed for drawing manga and other cartoon drawings.

Nib sizes: 7

Mangaka is part of Zig Cartoonist, which are products for use by professional, manga/cartoon artists and graphic designers. They are great for sketching, doodling or ANY form of art.

Size 01 is available in 5 colors.

Zig Mangaka technical pen for drawing Zig Mangaka

Pros:

Cons:

Walnut tree pen drawing Walnut tree with Zig Mangaka

Conclusion:

These pens are amazing. Small and lightweight, easy to work with. They feel natural when drawing. Highly recommended!

See on Amazon

10. Zig Millennium

Another great product from Kuretake, the Zig Millennium is a professional artist pen for sketching.

They are part of Zig Memory System, which is a line of products designed for scrapbooking, journaling and card making with water-based pigment ink to preserve for future generations.

Nib sizes: 6

They also exist in 8 colors.

Kuretake Zig Millennium artist pen Zig Millennium

These are of archival quality and in addition to sketching, they are great for signature work.

Other than that, Zig Millennium is identical to Zig Mangaka, both in structure and in quality:

Zig Millennium and Zig Mangaka technical pens Millennium vs Mangaka

Pros:

Cons:

Pen and ink drawing of a flower Flower with Zig Millennium

Conclusion:

Another superb pen for drawing and sketching. Great for ANY type of art.

See on Amazon

Author's comment:

If you like flower art with pens, visit my easy guide for drawing flowers.

11. Deleter Neopiko Line 3

Deleter is a manufacturer of art materials for manga artists and cartoonists.

Neopiko Line 3 is another example for a great drawing pen with water-based pigment ink of top quality.

Nib sizes: 8

They come in 3 colors: black, grey and sepia.

Drawing pen for manga, Neopiko Line 3 Neopiko Line 3

By another, I mean it is identical in structure to Zig Mangaka and Zig Millennium and all three pens have quality ink.

Similar pens, Mangaka, Millennium and Neopiko Mangaka vs Millennium vs Neopiko

Cartoon test:

We bare bears drawing with artist pens We Bare Bears pen drawing

As expected from fineliners for manga, they all work perfectly with Copic markers.

We bare bears coloring with copic markers We bare Bears coloring with Copics

Pros:

Cons:

Pen drawing of a pumpkin on log Pumpkin with Neopiko

Conclusion:

This pen is perfect for any drawing style!

Since Neopiko pens are quite similar to Zig fineliners, selecting one over the other is a matter of price.

See on Amazon

Author's comment:

Some sketching pens can produce both well-defined lines when perpendicular to the drawing surface and less defined lines when diagonal, which gives them another brightness value.

12. Tombow MONO Drawing Pen

Tombow MONO are disposable, water-based, pigment ink, drawing pens.

Nib sizes: 3

These pens are quite smooth and their ink dries instantly!

Tombow MONO pens for drawing Tombow MONO Drawing Pen

Pros:

Cons:

Pen and ink drawing of a country house Country house with Tombow MONO

Conclusion:

These pens are smooth which is nice, but if the nib is not removed immediately from the drawing-paper after each mark, it will leave a dot of ink.

Therefore, less recommended for technical drawing.

These pens are great for beginners since their nib is durable and will not bend. And, since their ink dries instantly, there is less chance of smudging.

In addition, they are great for doodling.

See on Amazon

13. Marvy Le Pen Drawing

Marvy Le Pen Drawing fineliners are water-based with pigmented ink.

Nib sizes: 7

Uchida Marvy Le Pen Drawing fineliners Marvy Le Pen Drawing

Pros:

Cons:

Farm drawing, homage to George Henry Durrie (1820 – 1863):

Farm drawing with Marvy Le Pen Farm drawing with Marvy Le Pen

Conclusion:

Affordable drawing pens for the art-hobbyist and for drawing manga, anime, cartoons and coloring pages.

See on Amazon

Author's comment:

While with pencil-drawing it is possible to erase mistakes and with oil painting it is possible to paint a new layer, with pen drawing once a mark is made it is (almost) permanent (see tip).

For that reason, it is best to draw the front objects first. If for example there is a tree in front of a house, draw the tree first and then the house.

In this regard, where to start drawing is a matter of a personal preference.

Tip:

A sand eraser by Tombow exists for erasing pen marks.

Depending on the type of ink and the type of paper, in many cases the eraser will be able to erase pen marks by gentle, continuous friction.

In order not to damage the drawing paper, it is recommended to use an ink eraser sparingly.

Sand eraser for ink by Tombow MONO Tombow MONO for ink

See on Amazon

14. OHTO Graphic Liner

Ohto Graphic Liner is a needlepoint drawing-pen with a strong black ink.

Nib sizes: 6

According to OHTO, these drawing pens can be left uncapped for at least 2-3 days without drying.

Ohto graphic liner pen for drawing OHTO Graphic Liner

Pros:

Cons:

Cowgirl riding on horse pen sketching Cowgirl with OHTO Graphic Liner

Conclusion:

Having a needlepoint, makes these pens great for beginners since they are durable. They are suitable for writing and for quick sketches or any graphic design work.

See on Amazon

15. Rotring Tikky Graphic

Rotring Tikky Graphic is a quality disposable technical pen.

Nib sizes: 7

This pen has a great grip and it is very comfortable even after long sessions of drawing.

The ink flows smoothly and consistently.

Rotring Tikky Graphic technical pen Rotring Tikky Graphic

Pros:

Cons:

Crow pen and ink drawing Crow with Rotring Tikky Graphic

Conclusion:

For artists that like pens with flowing ink, this pen is perfect.

While flowing ink is great for smooth drawing and filling large areas, it is not that great for accuracy or for beginners.

If the pen is not quickly removed from the drawing paper, it will leave a stain of ink, especially for bigger nib sizes.

It takes a while for the ink to dry (compared to other brands on this review) and therefore it will smudge if not treated carefully.

Not idle for technical drawing or drawing in perspective using a ruler (the ruler will smudge the ink and create a huge mess).

Ink is dark and beautiful but not good for writing on cheap paper.

With a thick, non-absorbent paper, this technical pen is great.

See on Amazon

Summary

There is a large selection for recommended brands of technical pens & fineliners. Some are designed for any type of drawing or sketching while others are suitable for writing, signature work or hobbies like doodling and mandala drawing.

Technical pens are also suitable for:

Important:

For more actual drawings with these pens, visit my tutorial on how to draw depth.

Keep in mind:

Another tool for drawing and sketching anything, anywhere, is a mechanical pencil.

The advantage of a mechanical pencil is that mistakes can be erased.

The advantage of a technical pen is that it is permanent and it does not smudge.

To learn more on how to use mechanical pencils, visit my how, when & why to draw with a mechanical pencil guide.

The technical pen brand review and drawings were made with technical pens owned by me.